12 out of 22 EU Member States have failed to meet a crucial deadline for reporting requirements under the Marine Directive, a Commission scorecard has detailed today. This disappointing finding puts in question whether European states are interested in saving our already fragile marine environment.

12 out of 22 EU Member States have failed to meet a crucial deadline for reporting requirements under the Marine Directive, a Commission scorecard has detailed today. This disappointing finding puts in question whether European states are interested in saving our already fragile marine environment.

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is an all-encompassing piece of European legislation specifically aimed at the protection of the marine environment. Its ultimate objective is to achieve a Good Environmental Status (GES) in all European seas by 2020 at the latest.

Member States were legally required up until July 15 of this year to complete their Initial Assessments of their marine waters; define what they consider to be ‘Good Environmental Status’; establish a set of environmental targets and associated indicators; and to conduct a public consultation on all of these as required under the MSFD.

Monday of this week (October 15) was the deadline for states to report this information to the European Commission.

Monica Verbeek, Director of Seas At Risk said: “It just shows a widespread lack of respect towards legal obligations and efforts to protect and restore our seas and oceans that are under huge stress from over-fishing, pollution and biodiversity loss. When countries fail to achieve milestones that have been known about years in advance it signals that some governments do not share the sense of urgency that is needed to solve these problems.”

Countries that have submitted their reports to the Commission are: Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Spain and Sweden.

Those that have delayed their reporting are: Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.

According to reports published voluntarily on the European Commission’s website by Member States: it is still unclear as to whether Poland, Malta, Italy, Latvia, Ireland, Cyprus and Bulgaria have conducted their public consultations on their initial assessments – even though these should have been finalised by 15th July.

 
 

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